Do your healing work, get more sex!

The Healing Journey is sometimes chaotic,
but it has Huge Rewards.

We can learn to trust that the chaos of our growth process will sort itself out.

I made a colleague laugh this morning when he told me he didn’t have full registrations for the workshop he’s offering this weekend (and he does excellent work). I said maybe we need to copy America’s professional marketers. You know, “do your healing work and get more sex!”  There’s a lot more truth to that concept than there is in the ads showing sexy men and women drinking Coca Cola together.  Given how much pain a lot of people are in, how they struggle with loneliness and poor relationships, denial and addiction, poor self-esteem, anger, and lousy jobs, I find it curious people don’t flock to any credible opportunity to let those miserable old patterns go.  Real personal growth and healing, over time, can substantially reduce such suffering and improve your relationships.

Growth is sometimes easy and fun, like when we are able to be more real, be seen and it brings us closer to others.  Or when we discover new ways to have fun, communicate, or to express ourselves creatively.  At times like that, I truly wonder why the kinds of workshops and growth experiences I and many others are drawn to are not the places where most spend their weekends and their money.  If the numbers count for anything, apparently football on TV in bars, videos at home, family picnics, and surfing the web are curiously much more attractive than anything related to “releasing the past”.

But sometimes, like right now, I too hit an impasse, that stuck and scared feeling, and I understand.

I’ve just completed an excellent four-day training in group facilitation. Frequently, it was quite challenging. The lessons were highly experiential.  It can’t be easily put into words in a summary outline, then shelved.  Instead, it is more like turning everything upside down and shaking it. Now comes the hard work of integrating that into how I work and finding the courage to bring my new lessons into a form which serves others.  If I don’t do that, it becomes nothing more than an interesting memory.

And since returning I’ve been engaged in a challenging conversation with a respected mentor in which I’m being invited (rather intensely) to look at my shadow, i.e. blocks to getting what I say I want and expressing who I am.  Seeing ways I have not been the best I could be brings up shame, and I think maybe I too will retreat, drink, hole up, hang out, shut-down, and give up.  Who did I think I was anyway, to yearn for a larger vision of life than I was taught in my first 20 years?  Clearly, I’m just a deluded egotist and the sooner I let go my dreams, the less disappointment I’ll have.

But I’ve been through this enough to know that, however overwhelming or scary the experience seems to be, there is a satisfying breakthrough available just on the other side of the hill…a wider vision, a greater experience of joy and of empowerment, of realness and intimacy, and a greater closeness to the divine.  And along with that, a genuine letting go of our old habitual story and some of the no-longer helpful baggage most of us carry from our pasts.

So…since I’m still reeling from my own tsunami here, I’m going to keep this short, but it’s not because I’m retreating or holing up.  Instead, I want to invite you, as powerfully as I know how in this forum, to send me your questions about the places in your life you feel stuck.  Where do you just hit a wall and give up, even though you know that giving up will mean not getting what you truly want…giving up on becoming the best you can be, giving up on yourself?  If you’ll dare to ask the questions, I will do the best I can to offer something meaningful in response.  I’ll respond in this blog, but it will be completely anonymous if you use the form here.

Do you have questions about the body-mind connection or about recovering from trauma, loss, or abuse? Click here to leave me a private message. I’ll either answer it in an upcoming blog or privately. Either way, it’s anonymous.

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Paul Chubbuck is a practicing psychotherapist in Fort Collins, CO, using Somatic Experiencing to help people release trauma, abuse, and loss. He may be reached at 970-493-2958 or through his website at www.releasingthepast.com.

Your comments, questions, and stories are welcome below. I will respond.

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    • Steve

      “Seeing ways I have not been the best I could be brings up shame”

      Paul,
      It strikes me that this is one of the tricky bits of looking at our personal histories, the tendency to judge our past actions from the perspective of our current, presumably more learned, experienced and wise selves. At any point in the past, we could only do the best we could AT THAT TIME, with the tools and knowledge we had then.

      We shouldn’t feel shame because of those past actions; we have to realize that we did the best we could, and continue to do the best we can. We just keep working to make “the best we can” be better and better from day to day and week to week.

      If we became perfect at 18 or 21 – and thus stopped doing things that we might later be tempted to feel shame over – there would be no need to continue to learn and grow. But we don’t, anymore than we become perfect at 40 or 50 or 99.

      Much better to look back and think, man, I did pretty damn good back then, considering how little I knew.

      Steve

      • Anonymous

        Steve,
        Thanks for the response. I like your thinking and agree with it. It used to take me longer but I pass through the shame stage pretty quickly these days.
        Paul

      • Azkikr7874

        Steve,

        I really liked this comment, and I think you’re right in that no one should feel ashamed of who they were in the past because you did the best you could with what little knowledge you had at the time.

        Thanks!
        Kristin